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Chicago's Chinese American Service League supports all ages in the community

Chicago's Asian community shines and gets support from community organization
Chicago's Asian community shines and gets support from community organization 02:18

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago has many diverse ethnic communities, each with unique strengths and needs.

In Chinatown, one organization has been meeting the needs of its predominantly Asian community for decades.

Starting from humble beginnings to evolve into a full-service provider helping people throughout life.

For Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, CBS 2 highlights the Chinese American Service League in Chicago. 

It's lunchtime at this daycare, but it's the Chinese American Service League—or "CASL"—in Chicago's Chinatown neighborhood.

So lunch is a little different. 

"We try to incorporate things they would be familiar with from their home country."

Cindy La is the Director of Children and Youth Services for the organization.

"We try to cook the same foods they would eat at home. They are already in a new environment, so we don't want to scare them with things they aren't familiar with yet," La said.

CASL has been helping people get used to new environments for decades. 

The Chinese American Service League isn't just for the Asian-American community. Everyone is welcome to take part in its services.

 It is also planning to open a second campus.

 The organization has acquired a new site in Bridgeport and plans to reveal more details later this year. 

"Our founders say they needed to grow and thrive."

Annie Reyes is in charge of marketing and communications. She said that back then, CASL largely helped with the language. Now, it serves more than 6,000 people.

Offering a range of programs for all ages.

For example, one program helps kids get ready for school.

"CASL is really a community support system," Reyes said. 

Supporting the community while honoring its culture and tradition.

"It's the community. There's some Mandarin spoken. There's a lot of Chinese. A lot of culture," said CASL parent Michael Wolf.

"I would like my child learning Chinese culture and American culture," said CASL parent Martin Chen. 

"CASL is a great thing to have because it brings people together," La said.

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